Jewish Student Union Weekend: A Cappella Group

Manginah, a Jewish a cappella group, wove intricate melodies together, awakening and entertaining the audience who attended the Jewish Student Union sponsored brunch this Sunday. “The a cappella group was marvelous, the lox delicious, and the crowd was enthusiastic,” said Richard Keller, school physician at Isham Health Center. The event, a bagel and lox brunch is one that has been taking place for the past couple of years. This year, for entertainment, Manginah performed their unique repertoire that combined Israeli pop and traditional songs. Emma Goldstein ’09, president of Jewish Student Union, invited the Brandeis University a cappella group to participate in the “second part” of Jewish Cultural weekend. Goldstein explained, “I knew a few friends who were in the group and thought it would be an unique form of entertainment for the brunch.” The Brandeis University students major in subjects ranging from biology, to sociology, to economics. Despite their busy schedule as students, they manage to maintain an impressive rehearsal schedule—two to four times a week for three hours at a time—it is no wonder the dedicated artists achieved such a professional performance. Henry Field ’12, member of the Jewish Student Union, agreed and said, “even though they were college students they were a great a cappella group.” “Manginah,” melody in Hebrew, certainly is a fit title for the group whose songs had a distinct rhythm and feeling, melded by alto, bass, tenor, and soprano singers. The group of seven singers performed songs ranging from “Come Back” by an Israeli pop group to a traditional “flagship song”, “Amen.” Individual group members arranged each of the songs; some songs featured soloists, and each had unique melodies. “One of the things that was unique was that they sang contemporary songs in Hebrew as opposed to the classical service songs,” said Elliot Hacker, Director of Finance. Of the songs performed on Sunday, two were in English and the rest were in Hebrew. While their songs are faith based, the group said that the cultural aspect of the club is what brought them together. Coming from diverse backgrounds, they sing to learn more about Judaism and shared the knowledge through the songs. According to the group, Manginah shares and performs songs at a variety of venues—weddings, on-campus events, events promoting interfaith tolerance, bar mitzvahs, and music festivals. The group was certainly unique and the audience response was positive. Maggie Shoemaker ’12 said, “It was interesting to hear how simply using voices of the people in the group, and harmonizing them [together], vibrant songs were created.” Despite the “early” meeting time, at eleven, said Katie Hebb ’12 “it was definitely worth getting up for.”